In last week's "Best Products" issue of Network World, I chose Elemental Security's Elemental Compliance system as a "Category Breaker." That is, in the words of editor Beth Schultz, "...products [that] raise the bar with novel ways to solve today's enterprise challenges." Picking Elemental was easy since I used the dreaded phrase "new paradigm" when I first told you about the system last May.We try to keep the choices of Category Breakers secret until the magazine is published so I avoided talking to the folks at Elemental Security while I prepared the write-up of their product. Which meant that, when I did finally agree to talk to them on the day the "Best Products" issue made the newsstands, what they wanted to talk about was a new release of the product (Version 2.0), now called Elemental Security Platform (ESP), which hit the shelves this week. If Version 1.1 was a Category Breaker, then Version 2 could be called the Category Definer.Version 2 doesn't introduce any ground-breaking new features it simply expands on those already in the product - better scalability, broader platform coverage, finer grained role definitions, flexible scheduling, better integration with 3rd-party products and much more. Nothing spectacular, just bigger, better, stronger, faster! The high points:* Scale: Supports up to 10,000 agents.* New platforms: Solaris (server), AIX, HP-UX, Mac OSX (Agent).* Managing Policies:- Fine grained admin roles (read\/write permissions).- LDAP & RADIUS Elemental user authorization.- Flexible policy scheduling (start \/ stop time, days of week).- Rule exceptions.* Policy Content:- Best practices: CIS Benchmarks.- Regulatory: HIPAA, PCI.- Data protection (disable local storage and printers).- Anti-Virus (Trend Micro), Anti-Spyware (CA, McAfee, Webroot, Lavasoft).- Increased rules count (2,000-plus), additional enforcement (300-plus rules).* Reporting:- Increase to 100-plus.- Fine grained scheduling, configurable over time reporting periods.- Scheduled e-mail delivery.- New report types (inventory \/ remediation \/ trending and change).* Cisco NAC - Phase I integration complete.Check what we said about Elemental's Version 1.1 last May, then head over to Elemental's Web site to read more about Version 2. Policy-based computing is something you should have been practicing all along on your Windows network. Elemental makes it easy to extend that paradigm to all the platforms you manage.***Editor's note:Microsoft's new Vista client operating system will be out before you know it, so you need to start thinking about a migration plan now. Check out our new "Countdown to Vista" research center, featuring up-to-the minute reviews of the latest beta versions of Microsoft Vista, written by Network World Lab Alliance tester Tom Henderson.